I may have left the Church, but I still miss its sacred rituals
I have long since fallen out with the Catholic Church for the same reasons so many Irish people have left the church of their birth. The appalling history of child abuse and the dragging of clerical feet around the issues of retribution for residents of various homes run by the church along with my unequal status as a woman, means I no longer consider myself a 'RC'.
However, there are things I miss about the Church. I miss the feeling of community - church was always a place where one met one's neighbours. I miss the hymns, especially those associated with particular holidays - 'Hail Glorious St Patrick' and, of course, Christmas Carols. But on a more general level I just miss the rituals that mark various church holy days during the year.
I know that these church days are usually placed on what were the old pagan sacred days; maybe it is my old Celtic soul that aches for something to bridge the spiritual gap where my religion used to be.